Paula Stone BA(Hons), BACP Accredited Counsellor, Relate certificated
I am a fully qualified counsellor with over 20 years’ experience, working with both individuals and couples. Throughout my time as a counsellor I have come to realise that difficulties in relationships are almost always at the root of unhappiness.
For all sorts of reasons, relationships can flounder. It may be a life-event such as illness or bereavement, work-life issues or an affair. Or it can be a more subtle and gradual moving away from each other. Whatever the reason, relationship counselling (also known as marriage guidance and couples therapy) can unravel the knots that have led to the position you now find yourselves in, and provide a space to think about creating new ways to communicate
Usually when things go wrong, no one person is to blame. Relationship counselling provides a non-judgemental space where you can both feel understood, and this creates the possibility of improved understanding and communication between you as a couple. The therapy room is a space in which, together, we can observe what might have gone awry in the way you communicate with each other, and find different and more useful ways to interact.
Relationship Counselling is relevant even if you have already made the decision to separate. For troubled children, the relationship between the parents (whether together or apart) is often crucial to helping the child through a separation. Therefore relationship counselling can help even after a relationship has ended. Keeping lines of communication as open and as civilised as possible is very beneficial for any children involved.
Many people choose to seek relationship counselling on their own. Individual relationship counselling is often sought by those experiencing difficulties in coping with a break up, or who are undecided about continuing in a relationship. It can also be useful for those who want to explore the absence of lasting intimate relationships. Relationship counselling can help you to discover how you relate to others and the familiar patterns that draw you to particular people.
Whatever type of relationship you are in, whether you are heterosexual or gay, married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership, or even living apart, you can come to see me (with or without your partner) and together we can start the process of tackling whatever relationship problems you may have.